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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Struggle is Real

These conversations must happen everywhere. They just must. Otherwise, crying and drinking and rocking myself to sleep is not consolation enough...

CP: How may I help you?
Thorn In My Side: I am calling to check on my profile.
CP: Ok. What, may I ask, is your specific inquiry?
TIMS: There was this TV show on the other night and I want to know what it was.
CP: Did you watch it?
TIMS: Yes.
CP: What was it?
TIMS: I don't know.
CP: Was it last night?
TIMS: No. It was a few weeks ago.
CP: Ok. What channel?
TIMS: Not sure.
CP: So you want me to tell you what show you watched and you can't remember anything about it?
TIMS: Yes. I need to continue the series since my friend said I need to keep watching it and you need to tell me what it was and how I can find it.
CP: Can't you call your friend?
TIMS: No! You're the cable company. That's your job!


Friday, July 24, 2015

Just Put It In Your Mouth

When people tell me they don't know what medications they take or why they take them, I imagine the following scenario. It has to be true. I can think of no other logical answer...

CP: Here. Drink this. 
Random Obedient One From Earth: What is it?
CP: Some cocktail I just made for you. 
ROOF-E: Ok. 
CP: Now, eat this. 
ROOF-E: What's in it? 
CP: Does it matter? 
ROOF-E: Not really. Thanks. 
CP: Okay. Take these. 
ROOF-E: What are they? 
CP: Prescription medications. 
ROOF-E: Do I need them? 
CP: Trust me. I'm your doctor. 
ROOF-E: Okay. Sounds legit. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

More Pizza Analogies

This has to happen. It's the only thing that allows the sleep to come and the nightmares to dissolve...

Pie Guy: Welcome to Wicked Slice. Are you picking up or placing an order?
CP: I am picking up.
PG: The name under which your pie may be found?
CP: CP.
PG: I am sorry but I see no order under that name.
CP: I didn't order it yet. It's not delivery. I am picking it up once it's ready.

For those times when you just can't convince patients that their prescription is so expensive, cutting down the quantity does not change their minimum copay at all. (This is, of course, talking only about a set copay for a 1-month supply. It is obviously less to go from 90 days down to 30 days. For this example, let us assume for 10 tabs of Crestor, it will still cost the same as 30 tabs. Capiche?)

PG: How many slices would you like today?
CP: I got a medium, right?
PG: Yep. I can cut it into 6 or 8 for you.
CP: I don't think I can eat 8 and I don't want to pay extra, so just make it 6 slices.
PG: It's still the same price for a medium, regardless of the number of slices.
CP: That's okay. I'm not that hungry and my family may change their minds when I bring it home. Can I bring back the rest if you cut it into 8?
PG: No. No you may not.

Just fill everything...

PG: How may I help you?
CP: I'd like one pizza with everything on it.
PG: Everything?
CP: Yes, everything! What are you deaf?

Option #1:
CP: WTF is this? I didn't want anchovies or black olives!
PG: But you said "everything".
CP: You should know I'm allergic to mushrooms. It's on your file.

Option #2:
CP: WTF is this?
PG: You said everything.
CP: Can you take the bacon off? And the green peppers?
PG: No. You said everything. You can take them off when you get home.

Option #3:
PG: Which items do you want?
CP: All of them!
PG: I am sorry, but we do not put "all of them" on unless we go through them each individually.
CP: What?! I've been buying pie from you since before you opened! Just fill everything.
PG: That's not how we do it here. Do you want Ham?
CP: Yes.
PG: Banana Peppers?
CP: Hell no! That's too hot for me.
PG: Okay. Pineapple?
CP: What? I don't want no damn fruit on my pizza.
PG: Mushrooms? Sausage?...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

They Came for Their Flu Shots

...sounds like a horror movie.
Coming this fall. From the producers of Zostavax Zombies and the writers of MTM Mayhem, comes this twisted tale of Phear in the Pharmacy.
Just when you thought it was safe to relax and enjoy your summer in the pharmacy, the idyllic atmosphere is slowly chipped away with news that flu shot season is coming. First, the emails about ordering supplies, followed with reminders about cold calling for clinics. This will lead to the new quotas...ahem (goals for the season) being established and the collective gasp of a retail industry will be heard from all corners as we choke on the new, unrealistic, unattainable "targets".

The countdown has started. Today is when the new "They Came For Their Flu Shots" trailer will be posted and the countdown begins. Only ~21 days to go until the new season arrives.
Tickets on sale now. Book online or through our new Pharmacy App.
Free Alcohol Wipe and Bandage offered to the first 100 registrants.

Monday, July 13, 2015

It's Your Phault

Did you ever notice that people are only compliant the day after they run out of medication?
Did you ever notice that their sudden perfection, this angelic quality, is destined to be destroyed by you, the big Devil?

Let's take a look at a recent example.
First, some quick math.
Patient takes 2 tablets every day (according to the directions).
Prescription filled on 4/7 for 60 tablets for 30 days.
Prescription REfilled on 5/22 for 60 tablets for 30 days.
Today is 7/8 and the patient is...obviously out of medication.

The conversation:
Snow White: I need my medication today.
CP: Okay. It appears to have expired and there are no more refills.
SW: You were out of stock. You were supposed to order it.
CP: We did. It did not arrive today. Manufacturer supply issue. I found another manufacturer so we reordered it for tomorrow.
SW: I'm going to go into AFib over this. I have to have it!
CP: Okay. We will have it tomorrow. You still need a new prescription.
SW: I'll miss tonight and now tomorrow morning. You're putting me at risk!
CP: Are you still taking one tablet two times a day?
SW: Of course!
CP: Are you Jesus?
SW: Excuse me?
CP: Is your name Anne Sullivan?
SW: NO! What is your problem?
CP: Just curious as to which Miracle Worker is remonstrating with me today.
SW: What?
CP: Well, Jesus turned water into wine and Anne...
SW: I just need my medication today!
CP: Then call your doctor and get a new prescription. I shall have the tablets tomorrow morning. You received a total of 60 days of medication from 4/7. Somehow, assuming you took your first doses on that day, you made 60 days' worth of medication last you 93 days, yet you complain to me that you will only miss tonight's dose and that will throw you into AFib.

Maybe it has something to do with Netflix and binge watching TV series. You start GOT or TWD and complete them in a few days or weeks and suddenly you can proclaim yourself a series-long phan and expert.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Pizza! Pizza!

Pharmacies have done a great job of copying other retail establishments in an effort to become more customer friendly. I am surprised this has not worked in reverse. Imagine all the things businesses could learn from the pharmacy world. Today I'd like to focus on one of those: Automatic Refills.
Why don't pizza joints offer this service? Customers could sign up for a daily, weekly, or monthly pie.  During football season you'd get your pizza delivered every Sunday at 1pm. Imagine all possibilities with this service. The Pizza Parlour calls you and tells you when you need to eat. They phill your phood order phast and have it delivered before you realise you are even hungry.

Problems with this service:
1. Customers would call asking why they had been out of pizza for 5 days and were starving. They'd been standing at the door withering away and no pizza had arrived.
2. They would complain that they changed their order from half-pepperoni, half-mushroom, and extra cheese to bacon and green olives because they just found out mushrooms are a fungus, yet the pizza keeps getting delivered as originally ordered.
3. They would complain that they needed more pizza during their Netflix and LOTR marathons and the computer should just know to send more.
4. They'd be upset that their team plays Monday Night Football this week and their pizza arrived early on Sunday.
5. They keep getting text alerts that their pizza order is due, but they don't read them and end up calling the wrong pizza place because they get pizzas from multiple places on different days.
6. You forgot to discontinue the service now that you're on a diet or gave up pizza for Lent, yet they still call you and try to deliver pizza to your door. Stop. Calling. Me!

If customers are not signed up for delivery, pizza places would have a stockpile of hot pizzas and wasted ingredients that they cannot return to stock. They'd waste so much time cooking the pizzas and making phone calls to come pick up the orders and then throwing away the pizzas for these automatic refills that they'd be so far behind on walk-in and phone-in orders which would lead to longer wait times. They'd have to cut employee hours and staffing and drop delivery service as a result. Wait, what? That doesn't make sense...Oh, maybe that's why other places haven't adopted pharmacy practices. Think I'll just go back to my marathon of OITNB.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Check Please

Why do people call the pharmacy to complain about a missing prescription before searching for it? I suppose it's the equivalent of "where are my sunglasses?" (on your head) or "where is my cellphone?" (you're talking on it).

CP: How many I help you?
Grumpy Foreskin: I got home and one of my prescriptions was missing.
CP: Ok. What do you mean it was missing?
GF: I am holding an empty bottle. What are you going to do about it?
CP: Well sir, it was in the bag when it left here. I checked our on hand quantities and we are spot on with our inventory.
GF: This is outrageous!

(cue dogs barking and a wife nattering on in the background for atmosphere...muffled sounds of struggle...)

Grumpy Foreskin's Wife: This is ridiculous! You keep doing this to him! I am an RN and I want to talk to someone who can fix this NOW!

(puts call on long, interminable, #PunishmentHold)

CP: As I tried to explain to your husband, our on hand quantities are correct. Perhaps you could check around the house. I noticed you picked up this prescription 3 weeks ago, not a few hours ago, as you made me believe.
GFW: FINE!

(two hours later)
CP: How may I help you?
GFW: I found them.
CP: No shit? Ok. I need to know. Where were they?
GFW: In the glove box of his car.
CP: Thanks for wasting my time and being such an understanding, patient person. You bring nothing but warmth and tenderness to your profession. You are an exemplary RN and I am happy to call you a professional colleague.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Best

A most common request from patients is the recommendation of an OTC product. Included with that request is the plea for "The BEST" product to treat what ails them.
Why?
Why does everyone want the best?
Just because something is the best does not guarantee it is the most effective choice for you.

If you have opportunity, I'd encourage you to engage in the following witty repartee.

Advice Seeker: I need a recommendation for sunburn.
CP: Avoidance.
AS: What?
CP: I recommend avoidance. If you do not get a sunburn, you will not have to treat one.
AS: What's the best thing I can get?
CP: Sunscreen. And a hat. And a long sleeve shirt. Pants. These will all help. So will staying indoors.
AS: No. What's the best thing once I get a sunburn?
CP: Obviously it's too late by then.
AS: How do I treat it?
CP: Carefully. You really want the best thing?
AS: Yes.
CP: I don't think you can handle the best thing. You've already proven that. I can start you with the third-best, or maybe the second-best, but let's not be hasty and jump right up to #1.
AS: I can handle it. I just need to get rid of this sunburn.
CP: MIASMA.
AS: Huh?
CP: Motrin, Ice, Aloe, Solarcaine, Menthol, Avoidance.
AS: Sounds complicated.
CP: You asked for "THE BEST", not "The easiest and least complicated".